I came across this sentence YouTube at 3:28s

Laut einer aktuellen Umfrage des Statistischen Bundesamtes sind besonders Alleinerziehende von Armut bedroht.

enter image description here

Please clarify why 'einer' is being used in the highlighted part and not 'eine' in this context?

In the example sentence eine Umfrage changes to einer Umfrage

But in other common examples like Die Frage des Mannes we don't modify the article of Frage and it stays eine even in the Genitiv case.

Another similar example that I came across here Article:

Laut einer Umfrage des Statistischen Landesamtes nutzen vier von fünf Bremerinnen und Bremern über 60 Jahre das Internet mindestens gelegentlich.

  • You linked the original source in a comment. IMHO this clearly shows that context can be everything, and a snippet taken out of context can be totally ununderstandable; thus I edited your question and quoted the whole sentence as you left out important grammatical context to sensibly answer your question. Had you given it directly, I'm sure your question wouldn't have attracted downvotes nor close votes. Commented Jun 10 at 7:37
  • Thank you for pointing that out and for editing the question. I updated the question with the original sentence and the links.
    – Emily John
    Commented Jun 10 at 11:47

2 Answers 2


(Updated for edited question): Laut is a preposition taking either dative (alternatively genitive), so it is "laut einer Umfrage", "laut einem Mitarbeiter" etc.

For the original sentence, which had lauten instead of laut: zufolge is a postposition taking genitive, "einer Umfrage des VDE zufolge" forms a single part meaning "according to a survey of VDE". An alternative would be "Laut einer Umfrage des VDE" (dative) which was likely avoided to not have a "lautet laut".

Maybe you are confused about lauten: lauten takes a direct-speech-like part, like wie folgt in

Eine viel zitierte Passage aus dem Mittelteil der Rede lautet wie folgt:

or a name as in

Von 1912 bis 1920 lautete der amtliche Name der Stadt Berlin-Schöneberg.

and here, it is the "Weil man als BWL- oder Jura-Absolvent eher Karriere machen kann“ part. The subject of lauten is der Grund, which is then further elaborated upon with "dass fähige Talente für die Technik verloren gehen."

  • Thanks for the explanation! I happened to find the original sentence where I came across this, and I updated the question.
    – Emily John
    Commented Jun 10 at 11:43

I try a different explanation path:

  • An inflection table of ein can be found in Wiktionary (table upper right)
  • laut is a preposition requiring dative or genitive, see e.g. DWDS
  • Umfrage, as correctly noted, is feminine
  • Choice (a) is wrong, because ein only appears in masculine and neuter columns
  • (b) eine would be valid for nominative and accusative case, none of which is appropriate for laut -> wrong
  • (c) einen would match for masculinum and accusative, none of which applies -> wrong
  • this leaves us (d), einer, which could be genitive or dative feminine, both of which are matching -> success

Your assumed other example die Frage des Mannes is different, since the genitive applies not to the feminine substantive, otherwise one would arrive at the identical

(laut) der Frage des Mannes

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